About Karen

I have been creating illustrations, paintings and murals for over 25 years as a published illustrator of children’s books, magazines, and a line of coloring cards and note cards. My murals can be viewed around Bellingham, WA: outside on the back of Pepper Sisters Restaurant, many of the Mc Donald’s Play Places in Whatcom County. These are in addition to all the numerous residential murals in this area, Seattle and around the country.

My inspiration comes from different elements in our environment such as nature, form, texture, and color. The love of experimentation with different styles, mediums and subjects is an integral part of my work. For 12 years I painted murals in model homes for a developer in Seattle. Each new housing development had multiple homes built near the sales office, all with different themes and color schemes. It was in this environment that the love of using various styles and ways to work was born and nurtured. It is my belief that the variety in the creative process and the different ways to “see” have kept my artistic fire going and growing throughout my years an artist. I look forward to where my brush will take me in the future!

karen theusen working on painting in studio

I bid on a commissioned portrait at an auction as I had wanted a portrait of my dog for many years. I could not be happier with the result and now planning on contracting Karen to do more. What amazed me is how she totally captured the emotion in the eyes; so important. Needless to say, the finished product is just perfect. I found Karen very easy to work with and she is just a quality person. Thank you Karen from the bottom of my heart. Guido will live on our wall in infamy.

Therese Williams

painting of larrabee st park


Current & Upcoming Exhibitions

  • Monthly Event – First Friday of each month during the Bellingham Art Walk, my studio is open for visitors from 6pm to 9:30pm. Check Bellingham Art Walk map online to see what visiting artist will be joining me! 
  • 2019 Whatcom County Art Museum – Whatcom Artists Studio Tour Artist Reception, Friday August 2nd 6pm-9:30pm, Bellingham, Washington, Show will be open for viewing through September 2019.
  • 2019 Jansen Art Center – Whatcom Artists Studio Tour Group Show Artist Reception, Thursday September 5th 6pm-8pm, Lynden, Washington, Show will be open for viewing September through November, 2019.
  • 2019 Whatcom Artists Studio Tour – October 5 & 6, and 12 & 13, Whatcom County, Washington, info: www.studiotour.net


  • 2019 NW Art Beat Studio Tour, Skagit County, WA July 20 & 21, 2019 10am-6pm
  • 2018 Bellwood Acres – Solo Show, September 16 – October 31, Lynden, Washington
  • 2018 Jansen Art Center – WAST Group Show, September-November, Lynden, Washington
  • 2018 Whatcom Artists Studio Tour – October 6, 7 & 13, 14, Bellingham, Washington, www.studiotour.net
  • 2018 Whatcom Art Museum – WAST Group Show, September, Bellingham, Washington
  • 2018 Fourth Corner Frames – Group Show featuring Pet Portraiture, “A Member of the Family”, show opens August 3rd 6pm-9pm, Bellingham, Washington during the Downtown Bellingham Artwalk
  • 2018 Davenport Cellars – Solo Show, May-August, Woodinville, Washington
  • 2017 Whatcom Artists Studio Tour – October 7, 8 & 14, 16, Bellingham, Washington
  • 2017 Whatcom Museum – WAST Group Show, August-September, Bellingham, Washington
  • 2017 Bellwood Acres – Solo Show, July & August, Lynden, Washington
  • 2017 Rockwood Realty – Solo Show, June – September, Lynden, Washington
  • 2016 Whatcom Artists Studio Tour – October 1, 2 & 8, 9, Bellingham, Washington
  • 2016 Jansen Art Center – Group Late Summer Show, August 4-30th, Lynden, Washington
  • 2015 Whatcom Artists Studio Tour – October 3, 4 & 10, 11, Bellingham, Washington
  • 2015 Jansen Art Center – Group show for Whatcom Artists Studio Tour, October, Lynden, Washington
  • 2015 Dakota Gallery – Group show for Whatcom Artists Studio Tour, October, Bellingham, Washington
  • 2015 Book Fare Cafe – Group show for Whatcom Artists Studio Tour, Bellingham, Washington
  • 2015 Bellewood Acres – Group show for Whatcom Artists Studio Tour, Lynden, Washington
  • 2014 Jansen Art Center – Group Summer Show, Lynden, Washington
  • 2013 Jansen Art Center – Group Summer Show, Lynden, Washington
  • 2011 Fate of the Forest – Group show at Whatcom Museum, Bellingham, Washington


  • BFA  Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, California
  • AAA  Art Institute of Design, Seattle, Washington
  • Project Management Certificate, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA

Interested in a custom pet portrait or painting?